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River and Bay Authority donates masks, gloves to hospitals, first responders

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

The Delaware River and Bay Authority announced today that the bi-state agency has donated 4,000 N95 respirator masks and 2,000 pair of nitrile disposable gloves to help the medical community and first-responders during the COVID-19 pandemic in Delaware and New Jersey.

The Delaware Healthcare Association, which plans to distribute the masks and nitrile gloves to hospitals in all three of Delaware’s counties, received 2,000 N95 respirator masks and 1,000 pair of nitrile disposable gloves.

In New Jersey, 500 masks and 250 pair of nitrile gloves were provided to each of these medical centers  and agencies: Salem Medical Center, Cape Regional Medical Center, Cumberland County Fire/EMS and Gloucester County Fire/EMS.

The DRBA has equipped employees in maintenance and toll functions with these masks and gloves in the past. In addition, the agency increased its stockpile of personal protective equipment for flu pandemic preparedness following the N1H1 swine flu outbreak, which makes this donation possible.

“We recognize the dire need for N95 respirator masks in our region and we’re thankful to be in a position to share what we have,” said DRBA Executive Director Thomas J. Cook. “Medical professionals and first responders are on the front lines in this battle to contain the outbreak and we want to do what we can to support their lifesaving mission.”

Wayne Smith, president and CEO of the Delaware Healthcare Association, commended the Delaware River and Bay Authority for helping Delawareans with the donation of N95 masks to Delaware hospitals for the protection of front line health care workers fighting COVID-19.

“I want to thank Tom Cook and the rest of the DRBA team for stepping forward with this donation that will be very helpful in protecting our health care workers," Smith said. "While the shortage in personal protective equipment is a national challenge that will be met, this donation, along with the others we are receiving, is an important bridge until supply catches up with demand.”

Dr. Tammy Torres, chief executive officer of Salem Medical Center, thanked the Delaware River and Bay Authority for helping health care workers at Salem Medical Center by donating 500 N95 masks and 250 pair of gloves.

“These are critically needed resources in short supply," said Torres. "In times like these, it is good to have partners like the DRBA step up to help make a difference for our community.”

Thomas J. Piratzky, executive director of the Cape Regional Medical Foundation, said he is grateful to all community partners that are supporting the needs of our community hospital during this difficult time.

“We’d like to express a special thank you to the DRBA organization for their generous donation of N95 masks," Piratzky said.

Gloucester County Public Safety Director William J. Perna Sr. and Cumberland County Public Safety Director Gabriel Scarpa also received an allotment of 500 N95 masks and 250 pair of nitrile gloves for their respective county’s first responders.

“We are grateful to the DRBA for their donation of the N95 Masks and Gloves, and supporting our efforts to protect those first responders risking their personal health and safety to take care of the citizens in Cumberland County,” Scarpa noted.

Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella said, “We thank the DRBA for their urgently needed support for our first responders."

Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said local doctors, nurses and emergency responders cannot be thrown into this crisis poorly equipped.

"It’s so important that we support the men and women who are battling COVID-19,” said Damminger. “The Delaware River and Bay Authority’s donation to Gloucester County Office of Emergency Management will help our facilities continue to operate and continue to give the amazing care they do to each of their patients.”

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority

The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by a compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and the Forts Ferry Crossing. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers at two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, the Civil Air Terminal at Dover Air Force Base and Delaware Airpark in Cheswold).

All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.

For more information, visit www.drba.net.